The spread of the coronavirus is causing events to be canceled worldwide where the agglomeration of people is expected. A measure that tries to avoid the spread of this disease. This fact has caused the alarm to have jumped among some parents who see in the return to school or in the late school year a risk that their child may contract this virus when many students attend the same class. It can prevent the spread of coronavirus from children at school? It can and, not only, we have to tell you that, according to studies, this virus affects children less than adults.
The new strain of the Wuhan coronavirus, China (2019-nCoV), also known now as Wuhan pneumonia, has (to date 02/14/2020) more than 44,800 confirmed cases and more than 1,000 deaths (the most severe of all strains) and It has spread not only to other cities in China, but also to other countries (more than 30) in Asia, Europe and North America, being the majority of the affected people of adult age.
More than half are between the ages of 49 and 50, with 10% under 39, which means that adults are the most affected by the new strain of coronavirus (2019-nCoV), reporting so far very few cases in children.
Recall that the transmission route of the coronavirus is from animals (bat, snakes, camel) to humans, called zoonotic transmission, but this new strain was discovered in December 2019 in a market for fish, seafood and exotic animals in the city of Wuhan ( China), called coronavirus 2019-nCov, also is transmitted from human to human, which has caused the virus to spread very quickly to thousands of people and has spread to other countries.
But despite the recent discovery of a new form of transmission, called vertical transmission, that occurs from the pregnant mother to the fetus, the incidence of coronavirus in children remains low.
This transmission could be confirmed at 30 hours of life of a newborn, the son of a mother with the disease, whose laboratory results were positive for the coronavirus, being the first confirmed case in a newborn.
And as a very curious detail, the incidence of childhood cases was also very low in the previous outbreaks of the coronavirus in China (SARS in 2002) and in the Middle East (MERS in 2007), where deaths of children were not reported either. or adolescent in neither of the two outbreaks. Also, children under 12 years of age had a lower incidence of hospitalization for parenteral antiviral treatment.
As of yet, there is no firm-based explanation for why the child population, especially from the age of 5 to adolescence, is not very vulnerable to being infected by the coronavirus or having the disease in a mild way or with very few symptoms. Until now several scientists have given their opinion, among which we have,
The professor at the University of London, Nathalie Mac Dermott, explains that this age range, from 5 years to adolescence, have a fairly strong immune system and prepared to fight viruses. For her, perhaps many children and adolescents may be infected with the coronavirus, but they could have a fairly mild illness or with very few symptoms, similar to a common cold.
Too the teacher thinks that the children have been more protected, since they have not gone to schools, because this new outbreak began in the Chinese New Year and schools were closed at that time, they even remain that way, therefore the probability of contagion is lower with respect to adults.
But she thinks that the situation may change as the disease spreads more and there is an increased risk of exposure to the community. However, so far there have been no reports of an increase in pediatric cases.
On the other hand, the virology professor at the University of Reading, Ian Jones, told the BBC that 'for reasons that are not totally clear, it seems that children either run away from infection or do not have a severe infection or have a very resistant immune system with the ability to fight the virus'. The other possibility would be that the disease is less aggressive in them, therefore they do not take them to hospitals to be evaluated or do laboratory tests and they do not register them.
He also argued that since children are 'super-spreaders' of viral infections, especially respiratory infections, as happens in day care centers, an increase in pediatric cases positive for the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV can be expected, however, so far this has not happened.
What is clear is that the virus is more aggressive in adults with a medical history such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and in the elderly, since their immune system is more immunosuppressed.
In conclusion, according to the statistics reported by coronavirus cases, both from past and current outbreaks, children from the age of 5 and adolescents are the least vulnerable (apparently) to the effects of the virus.
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With all this, mothers and fathers can breathe easier, but this does not mean that we have to stop following some recommendations to avoid the spread of coronavirus in children and in ourselves.
1. Keep them safe at home, that is, not attend kindergartens or schools where there is some type of virus or antecedent.
2. Not having contact with sick people or who present symptoms of the coronavirus.
3. Use of mask or mask.
4. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently.
5. Go to your pediatrician in case of referring any discomfort or symptoms of the disease.
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